This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

You know, just a little fan input..

Discussion in 'Suspyre' started by Beyond the Pale, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Spiritual Eclipse

    Spiritual Eclipse New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Galactic Backwards Movements and Manipulation in Time have some of your best guitar work on them, easily.
     
  2. voodoo

    voodoo A little left of heaven

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    :oops: Pardon my goof, there, Gregg. I meant to say Waterburns. I had just finished listening to Father of Hate when I typed that up.

    But with Father, the middle instrumental parts have a solo feel, starting at minute 2:51 through minute 4:14. The collective work by the band is phenomenal.
     
  3. Beyond the Pale

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Haha, that is so badass. Even if you're joking around with that last sentence, just to hear that is badass. I do understand what you mean when you say that the music doesn't really..have the space for a guitar solo or whatever, or it just wouldn't fit sometimes, but like, I always noticed that every band I love has at least one kickass guitar solo, and I figured with the amazing gift you guys have with music, you would probably write one of the most epic, mindblowing solos if you really wanted to try to make one happen. Sometimes it doesn't even need to be really technical to be really good. Heh. And yeah, it's cheesy, but everyone needs to do something lighthearted like that once in a while. :p
     
  4. GreggSuspyre

    GreggSuspyre Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Jersey
    We have quite a few lighthearted things in our music. Most of them have to do with quoting other music (Beethoven's 5th, Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," the Mario Bros. Theme, etc). Also there are many silly parts in "Galactic Backward Movements" (the accordion solo!); even the title is kind of silly in the progressive-metal way. I think it's good to not take yourselves too seriously.

    I was just going through the new material, and there is a song that is about 10 minutes long with 3 guitar solos; I have a longer jazzy one, then Rich and I both have two short funky ones. I can't stand that imbalance, so I have to add a longer jazzy solo for Rich as well. It will either be in that song (which may make it too long), or in a completely new one.

    I'm obsessed with consistency and balance; that's one thing that I've always gone over in composition lessons. Doing something once is awkward. That's why I can't have one long fancy solo in a song. It has to be twice.

    Now I'm inspired to write another piece. Another thing that was bothering me is two consecutive songs on the new album are in keys a whole step apart now, since we decided to do one of them in dropped-C tuning (low to high C G C F A D) and the transition sounds horrible now. So now I know where the piece is going and from which keys it must modulate. And I know it needs a long guitar solo! :cool:
     
  5. voodoo

    voodoo A little left of heaven

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    I'm always curious to know where music comes from. What I mean is, do you sit with your guitar (or piano, or accordian) and just mess around and stumble onto something that could work as a song? Or maybe you are walking through Wal Mart and some random notes pop into your head that seem like the beginning of a new song? I guess every musician is inspired in their own little way......

    Not being a musician makes if very hard for me to fathom where all the new ideas come from, let alone the complexity of the arrangements. I was listening to A Great Divide a little yesterday and The Silvery Image today, and I actually felt as though I was hearing everything for the first time. Again. So many tiny nuances to the music, so many parts to miss the first 10 times listening only to hear it on the 11th try.
    I guess I am just rambling a little. I've been in a funk lately so brain functionality is not high on my priority list right now.
     
  6. Rev. Clayton

    Rev. Clayton The Singer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I know Gregg will want to go in depth into this, but I'm bored at work and will beat him to the punch on the big things.

    Gregg writes everything out in notation. He doesn't have a guitar in his lap when he's writing it. Everything is written out on a musical scale and then transformed later into what you hear on the album. It's a wonderful way to work as a singer and as part of the band because he can plug everything into the computer so that we hear a midi playback of the whole song. On that note...we already know what most of the 3rd album sounds like because we've been hearing the computer simulation of all the songs lately. Obvisouly it takes a slightly different turn when real instruments start taking hold of it, but in essence it's still the same.

    Gregg writes like no one else I've ever seen or heard of and it makes it easy to work with him. When we record vocals, he is the master of making the right harmonies. All the harmonies and music match each other...he won't let music go by that has discord at any part in it. Well...alteration of the ivory had one harmony part that wasn't in the chord structure that he let go because it sounded so good...however it was funny to watch him wince everytime it came up because he knew it wasn't the right harmony (I made it up the harmony...so blah to you Gregg...haha).

    I am really bored...can you tell. Anyways...Gregg will go much more in depth on how it all gets done.
     
  7. voodoo

    voodoo A little left of heaven

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Thanks for the response.

    Incredible that Gregg just writes everything out in notation. Most of the time I hear about guitar players (usually) sitting and jamming with a tape rolling. Then if something interesting comes up they stick with it and "massage" it til it becomes usable. Of course, everyone has a different approach. Whatever works best, you know.
    I wonder, and this question is mostly directed at Gregg, how you feel about live shows in general? Playing live it must be near impossible to get everything just right, so do you ever get annoyed (for lack of a better word) at the imperfections that crop up in a live setting?
     
  8. GreggSuspyre

    GreggSuspyre Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Awesome question. There is really no one answer for this. I never will go to Wal-Mart, so that one's out, though :p

    Sometimes music does come from me fooling around with an instrument, but that's pretty rare. A lot of it just comes from my head; sometimes I'll just think "I wonder how it would sound if this chord resolved into this one by way of this note" and then try it out in MIDI or on an instrument and see what happens. Also, I know how a lot of the music is going to sound before it's even written. When you spend so much time with music you start to just know what certain chords sound like together. Now that I'm writing the third album, I'm trying to do things we haven't done a lot; there will be more mid-tempo groovy sections, and more riffs that borrow more pitches from other keys (so everything doesn't sound so safe). We did a little bit with that on "A Great Divide" and that's why I think that album is so much more interesting than "The Silvery Image." A lot of this is planned out before I write it. But, there are some songs on the third album that were written around the name time as the other album, but never were recorded because they were too hard or just not polished enough. So, those are being reworked and reworded to make them fit an album that is going somewhere.

    It's cool that you still notice things on our albums; I do too! There's a lot of music happening and it's impossible to get it right away.
     
  9. GreggSuspyre

    GreggSuspyre Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Haha...I remember that part. You sang a G# over a part that was pretty much just an E Phrygian riff, which hinted at the A Gypsy scale, which is cool, but that G# was so close to a Gnatural that it just sounded weird. But, when you just listen through it it managed to work itself out. Sometimes "mistakes" like that sound awesome.
     
  10. GreggSuspyre

    GreggSuspyre Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I don't get annoyed, because live playing is completely different. I can put bands in two categories. There are live bands that make CDs to have a representation of their live show and there are bands that make CDs and play live to help sell the CD. We're the latter.

    Nothing is ever perfect live. In all honestly, I prefer jazz and classical shows to rock shows by far, mostly because I think the music is more dynamic and exciting in that setting. At jazz concerts you hear things you didn't hear on the CD because it's improvised, and classical CDs are always produced so awkwardly that it's hard to hear the dynamics appropriately. Rock concerts are usually just a pile of loud sound. I remember seeing Symphony X a couple of months ago and Rich turned to me and said "it doesn't really matter if they play all the wrong notes." It's very true; I couldn't understand a thing, but I still loved it!

    That's why I don't get frustrated with live shows. They are about energy and excitement, not technicalities. Though playing live is cool, it's not the primary source for each composition.

    The reason I put more emphasis on our CDs is because I want to think of them similarly as to how an artist makes a painting or an author writes a book. No one goes to see an artist paint in real time, just as no one criticizes an author who uses spell-check and copy-paste. We spend lots of time making our CDs perfect and adding in extra (even sometimes superfluous) parts. It's all about creating a product, and when we get to play live, it's always fun to figure out how to make it all work.
     
  11. voodoo

    voodoo A little left of heaven

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    :worship:

    In case you were wondering what that really loud noise was, it was just my head exploding.
     
  12. Knulla

    Knulla Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Chicago
    I also notate everything when I write for my bands. And my bands aren't nearly as complicated and technical as Suspyre.

    Usually I write it out with a pen and paper first, then I transfer it to Guitar Pro. Then, like Gregg said, I can show my band the midi, and everyone can know what it's supposed to sound like.
     
  13. Rev. Clayton

    Rev. Clayton The Singer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Do you see how he explained it vs. me explaining it...my head almost explodes soemtimes too...but I love it.
     
  14. Servilonus

    Servilonus New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I, as well, usually work in Guitarpro when writing stuff out for my band (which is not progressive). It's a good reference and it's easier to get my bandmates to become familiar with and learn the songs away from practice sessions.

    Since we're kind of a joke metal band (in the vein of Gwar with stage performances and such), the music is never really all that complex. For the most part, the songs are short and I view them as basic compositions; I may have an assortment of riffs that I have an idea of where to place. From there I usually just kind of think about what should go where and stream-of-consciousness write most of the rest of it based upon the key signature and all. Because of the relative simplicity of much of the music I often intentionally try to do songs in different key signatures so we don't result with the classic metal "collection of songs in e minor".

    A song I made recently at about 6 minutes in length and a bit more technical than the others I came up with almost entirely at work. It was all based around the rhythm of one riff that had been stuck in my head for the last few days, a 6/8 line that was dotted eighth - sixteenth three times for three measures and then a measure in 1/4, and then the same followed by 2/4, then 3/4 and so on. I came up with a collection of riffs in my head throughout the day at work - not so much the actual notes but patterns; I had a chart with notes like "2 octave black metal b minor" and "ascending/descending chords" that I had a relative idea for, but no set structure. I often don't come up with the majority of music on the guitar, but actually in guitarpro. I'll have a riff or a theme and I try to imagine in my head what else would go with that - and then try to directly transcribe that in Guitarpro. When my singer tries to force writing at practice sessions, often little comes from it - I'm more comfortable writing at a computer than on a guitar.

    Gregg's take is a very interesting one that I see shades of how I operate with music, but more with other creative things like writing and art that I do. When you get involved on such a heavy technical level with such things, you think a lot about possibilities and such. As a filmmaker, I often see things and think about how I would shoot them, and with what, or certain editing techniques/effects, etc. So you go into something and sort of have a preconcieved sort of notion about what you'll be doing. Or that's my take on it anyway. This was a neat thread to read - seeing how people do what they do.
     
  15. Pate

    Pate Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,950
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I too use GuitarPro. It works well, for me anyway.
     
  16. Beyond the Pale

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Jumping in for another little tidbit of input. haha


    You guys need to do another show with The Green Evening Requiem. They opened at the show I saw you guys at, and I got their demo afterwards and they really kick ass. Atlantis In Winter is one of the most incredible songs I've ever heard. >_> Them, Crimson Roots, you guys, oh yes. @_@
     
  17. GreggSuspyre

    GreggSuspyre Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2005
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    New Jersey
    They are definitely on a list of bands to contact next time we have a show to do. I'm not sure what Crimson Roots is up to these days,and I don't think they know either. They have been recording their new album in our studio for over two years now! I remember tracking their drums at Rich's house, before we even had the system set up in the garage at my house, where it is now. This CD, "The Empire Above" would be so cool if they'd just finish it, heh. Hopefully they'll contact us for some studio time soon and then we can play with them again.
     
  18. 66Samus

    66Samus New Metal Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Yeah, you definitely don't always need a solo to have an awesome song. Father of Hate is a very good example. Most of Killswitch Engage's songs don't have solos, but they are sooooo powerful.
     
  19. Rev. Clayton

    Rev. Clayton The Singer

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Just so you know buddy...screams should be coming back.
     
  20. voodoo

    voodoo A little left of heaven

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    That will be good to hear.... :)
     

Share This Page